Wednesday, July 1, 2015

[Review] Aloft

In the film criticism world, the word "Boring" is often frowned upon due to it's potential laziness and vagueness. But if we're being real, it can also be one of the most honest, efficient, and effective descriptors. And Claudia Llosa's Aloft is a great candidate for its usage.

This is one of those films where it's difficult to explain the plot, because the filmmakers seem content with purveying an anti-plot. It jumps between two different time periods with not much to distinguish from each other. In the past, Jennifer Connelly plays a distressed mother and her son (Cillian Murphy) is an aspiring falconer. In the present, Connelly's character has abandoned her son, and a journalist (Melanie Laurent) attempts to reunite them. This actually sounds way more comprehensible than what takes place on screen.

Aloft feels a bit like the elusive Upstream Color. The fractured and mystic storytelling doesn't ring as special or inventive. Instead, it's a puzzling revert of narrative, and a prime example of how "challenging" doesn't always equal good. It refuses to explain anything, and in some cases a lack of exposition or plot key-ins is a good thing, but here it comes off as incoherent pieces of something and people doing things without a point. This keeps us from even getting to know the characters (which is kind of important), and in turn the cast feels wasted.

It's filled with pretty images of powdery snow drifts, landscapes of frozen tundra, soaring falcons under blinding light, and the active handheld camera maneuvers to capture it all nicely. But that isn't enough. This film is the equivalent of when someone explains an idea in their head to you and they're the only one that it makes any sense to. A vision that doesn't resonate. Lyricism that doesn't translate. The whole thing is more like an insult to the medium than a halfway compelling film. And for something with Aloft as a title, it drives itself into the ground long before its lugubrious duration comes to a close.


No comments:

Post a Comment